Oh how we LOVE this time of year! I love finding different ways for our children to countdown to Christmas, trying to keep our focus on Christ. There is so much "stuff" out there for Christmas - toys, Santa, bigger and brighter decorations, the Elf on the Shelf, etc. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with any of those, but I know for our family, there are times it is difficult to keep our focus where it belongs... on the true reason why we celebrate Christmas. Last year we counted down by using Truth in the Tinsel. If you have preschool or young elementary aged children, I highly recommend it!
This year, however, we decided to go a different route. We are combining a couple different ideas. Everyday we read some Scripture. We also read a book and do some type of craft or activity. Monday through Friday, for school, we are learning about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries and of course, trying different foods from that country, preferably one that is eaten around the Christmas holiday.
Today is the First Sunday of Advent, and the first of December. Our Scripture reading for today was John 1:1-5. We read the book The First Christmas by Jan Pienkowski. It is a lovely rendition of the birth of Christ. We then completed some Nativity scene pictures, using stickers from Oriental Trading. Here are some pictures of the projects:
With it being the First Sunday of Advent, we also received our new ornaments for the year. Every year we each receive a new Christmas ornament for the tree. Hubby usually receives a Nativity one, and myself a Willow Tree angel. We try to find the children ones that represent their interest that year. It is one of our favorite traditions, with many memories being stirred when we take them out the following years! For example, the one year we went to Walt Disney World, so the kids each received an ornament from there. This year we picked up our ornaments from a really neat store in South Dakota, that sells Christmas items all year long. So much fun!